Fabletics into the Breach

There are at least two separate changes occurring in the fashion sector of the economy, but both are related. However, one is having a very negative effect. This negative trend is called showrooming, and it is the result of what is being termed by affected business owners as the Amazon economy. Formerly, people came into shops or stores to test products and then make purchases. These shoppers were motivated by brand loyalty and other motivating factors, but there has been a shift in this old behavior pattern.

 

Now, shoppers are more motivated by shopper experience than practically any other time in business history. The disaffected store owners contend that this is because of Amazon and other aggregate shopping sites, and their outsized effect on this sector of the economy. The term showrooming was coined because of the tendency for those that shop online and on these sites in particular, to only come into stores to test products and to not make purchases. Because of this shift in traditional customer behavior, the affected companies feel that their stores have become brick and mortar showrooms for virtual companies whose clients then make the purchases through online and very often cheaper channels.

 

Many cite Amazon as the greatest driver of this type of behavior. So to combat Amazon’s negative effect on their businesses, many have instituted various methods of combating the negative aspects including a clever technique called reverse-showrooming. Unlike many techniques, reverse showrooming acknowledges that showrooming is a definite phenomenon. However, proponents of this method intend to utilize the behavior to their advantage. Many of the companies opting to pursue a technique of reverse showrooming are relatively new start-up companies.

 

Because of this insight, they intend to cater to this customer desire for an engaging customer experience both on the online and brick and mortar sectors of their companies utilizing their reverse showrooming models. One company has a unique way by which they have built a company that has experienced a 5000 percent growth spike in only the last three years. The company is called Fabletics, and it caters to active fitness and casual wear.  The company does have some star power.

 

Its founder is venerable actress Kate Hudson, but the true star power is its model of utilizing a subscription based model of reverse showrooming. In this way, they convert 50 percent of their customers online with subscriptions, they convert another 25 percent in store. Therefore, the stores provide a customer experience to many who are already customers, and this bolsters customer and brand loyalty greatly. Additionally, they convert many of those shoppers who are simply out showrooming. It benefits Fabletics because these showroomers can make their purchases in store or online because the relatively low price for the high-end product is consistent across all points of sale.